A solid account for both history buffs and report-writers.


From the The Making of America series

A conversational examination of the life of the 32nd president.

Kanefield provides readers with an intimate examination of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, following the president from his birth in Hyde Park, New York, to his death in Warm Springs, Georgia. Along the way, readers discover Roosevelt’s complexities, his personal life, and his policies. These include well-known shining moments, such as his electoral victory in 1932 and the political and gender diversity of his cabinet, as well as darker moments in his life, including his ongoing affair with Lucy Mercer and his lavish lifestyle as a young man. Although Kanefield’s storytelling isn’t always smooth, overall it flows in a friendly and welcoming style that reluctant readers will appreciate. Photographs and supplemental boxes of contextual information interrupt when additional background information is needed. The backmatter is also helpful, and it includes a timeline, bibliography, notes on the chapters, and selections of FDR’s writing for curious readers. Those readers will need to flip back and forth between narrative and endnotes for sourcing information, however, as they are not directly anchored to the text. Those familiar with Kanefield’s other biographical works will not be disappointed.

A solid account for both history buffs and report-writers. (Biography. 9-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3402-1

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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Fashion blogger Sicardi introduces readers to 52 queer heroes from around the world.

The book’s survey of diverse individuals should be applauded. Commendable ranges of ages, ethnicities, genders, professions, and time periods are covered. However, the book’s downfall begins with the sparseness of information offered about each subject. Each entry includes a name, a date range and birthplace, a few scant paragraphs, a stylized portrait, and nothing else. For example, while the joint entry on Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson covers their friendship and work with homeless LGBTQIAP youth in New York City, it makes no mention of Rivera’s historic 1973 speech regarding homophobia and transphobia within the LGBTQIAP community. That was kind of a big deal. Likewise, David Bowie is praised for his music, but mention of his infamous 1983 Rolling Stone article, in which he identified as heterosexual, is absent. (In fairness, the title could refer to heroes of queer people.) The book’s other major deficit is its disorder. The subjects are arranged arbitrarily, without a table of contents or an index. There is no further reading section and no bibliographies for references. A haphazard two-page glossary exists (thankfully in alphabetical order), but that’s it. The book has some merit as a brief introduction to people readers may not have heard of but doesn’t have the follow-through necessary to lead them to further discoveries.

Save your money. (Biography. 9-12)

Pub Date: May 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-78603-476-2

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Wide Eyed Editions

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2019

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The art underperforms, but the descriptions of athletic feats admirably compensate.



Sequential panels offer accounts of select achievements and milestones in modern sports history.

Literally blow-by-blow only in the case of Muhammad Ali’s “Rumble in the Jungle” with George Foreman, each entry breaks down a memorable moment in a different sport or event—in the case of soccer, for instance, Brandi Chastain’s winning penalty kick in the 1999 Women’s World Cup final and Germany’s 7-1 demolition of Brazil in 2014’s Men’s World Cup semifinal. The featured athletes are a diverse lot, ranging from White ice dancers Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean to African American gymnast Simone Biles, Jamaican speedster Usain Bolt, Japanese wrestling legend Kaori Icho, and Australian Indigenous Olympic track star Cathy Freeman. Paralympics champion Jonnie Peacock and surfer Bethany Hamilton, who has one arm, make the roster, too. Degnan’s figures don’t always quite resemble their subjects, but she does tuck versions of iconic photos, like the raised fists of Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the 1968 Olympics, into her sets of freeze frames. In adrenalized prose (crediting Jesse Owens, for example, with “single-handedly crushing Hitler’s myth of white supremacy”), Skinner adds both historical context and descriptions of the action to each entry, then closes with a set of character card–style tributes. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

The art underperforms, but the descriptions of athletic feats admirably compensate. (glossary) (Sports history. 9-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 20, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-4197-6023-5

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Magic Cat

Review Posted Online: May 11, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2022

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